It's no secret that Nick Madrigal has rather quickly wore out his welcome with a lot of Cubs fans. After coming to the North Side along with Codi Heuer in the Craig Kimbrel trade in 2021, the former first-rounder has failed to stay healthy and, thus, hasn't emerged as the long-term solution the team hoped for.
Now, with Dansby Swanson in tow, Chicago has moved Nico Hoerner back over to second, leaving Madrigal as an odd man out defensively. Sure, the Cubs could still turn to him off the bench as a nice contact-oriented piece, but they could be better served shopping him. With the Red Sox' middle infield situation in flux following the Trevor Story injury news this week, The Athletic's Chad Jennings (subscription required) specifically mentioned Madrigal as a potential trade target for Boston.
Cubs, Red Sox could match up on a Nick Madrigal trade
Jennings included Madrigal in the 'risk-reward-category of potential solutions as Chaim Bloom looks to keep his team in the hunt in 2023. The Rafael Devers extension was a huge win for that front office, but with Xander Bogaerts gone and Story hurt, the outlook up the middle is particularly bleak for a team that finished last in the AL East last year at 78-84.
The problem if you're the Cubs is by trading Madrigal now, you know you're selling low. There's not going to be a prospect of note coming back in a deal because, frankly, Madrigal hasn't been the guy he was billed as coming out of Oregon State, struggling to stay on the field enough to showcase his skills with the bat.
Chicago's bench looks to be a potential weakness, so trading Madrigal just for the sake of making a move doesn't make a ton of sense. Keep in mind Hoerner has battled some injuries in the past and having a backup plan isn't the worst idea in the world. But with Boston on the lookout for some sort of answer to their infield woes, don't be surprised if Madrigal's name comes up again in the days to come.